Short form: Troy – God, this movie is cheesy.
“Troy” (2004) is a movie cashing in on the epic proportions of “Lord of the Rings,” and just like Peter Jackson’s silver-screen epic of hobbits and dwarves, “Troy” also absolves itself of its own source material. In “Troy’s” defense, “The Iliad” was a long, drawn-out affair. Homer dedicated a whole book to brave Achilles putting on armor offered to him by the smith god, Hephaestus. But to take something that has wide-reaching cultural value on the western world that The Iliad does have and to alter it for convenience only damages how the viewer will perceive the original story itself.
South Park: The Fractured but Whole
“South Park: The Fractured but Whole” is the sequel to the other well-regarded South Park game, “The Stick of Truth.” Taking place right after the events of “The Stick of Truth,” “The Fractured but Whole” opens with your created character crapping into a toilet via a minigame in true “South Park” fashion. Before you know it, all the main kids quit playing fantasy and move onto superheroes. Your character named Douchebag, and must now start from the bottom in terms of the superhero structure within Eric Cartman’s franchise, Coon & Friends. Rivaling Coon & Friends is Kenny McCormick as Mysterion, leading the Freedom Pals.
The biggest change from “Stick” to “Fractured” is the revamped combat system. In “Stick”, the combat was a parody of role-playing games where characters would always stand in positions and not be moved until death or victory. “Fractured” now has a grid-based system which allows for a more strategic form of combat. Do you allow Super Craig to push the nearest enemy to the back of the board, or do you use his middle finger move to distract a specific enemy?
One of the biggest problems “Fractured” has is that unlike “Stick,” “Fractured” requires you to be up to date on how the show is going. Stick had callouts, but not so many that you’d get lost. You could easily just have watched a few episodes as far back as season one and gotten the gist of “The Stick of Truth.” “Fractured” requires you to be up to date as far as the newest seasons.
The story and side missions are as funny as ever. From everything between helping Super Craig patch things up with his ex-boyfriend, Wonder Tweek, for an over-the-top payoff on just a side mission, to discovering a conspiracy involving all the crime groups of South Park and cat urine. The story alone is bound to leave you laughing with the side missions being great additions. My biggest complaint is that there aren’t many side missions and once you’ve beaten them all, there is little to keep the player invested until the DLC is released.
Another big change is the introduction of a crafting system, taught to the player alongside time-bending fart powers by the wise master, Morgan Freeman. It is within his abode of Freeman’s Tacos, that the player learns to craft Mexican food never before conceived by human thoughts, such as the Enchiritto.
About humor, “South Park” co-creator Trey Parker went and watched all of the popular gamer PewDiePie’s playthrough of The Stick of Truth. Parker wrote down everything PewDiePie found to be funny and not funny and used what he found as the benchmark for humor in “Fractured.”
“South Park: The Fractured but Whole” delivers an entertaining package that plays out like a trilogy of episodes driven by the player. Though it relies on source material maybe too much, that shouldn’t be a problem for the core audience.